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Pikes Peak Hike Speak 2010 (Don Ward)

By: Don Ward
By: Don Ward

I hike to the top of Pikes Peak with some friends every year...the time is here!

BECAUSE IT'S THERE - AGAIN

I'm climbing Pikes Peak with some good friends this weekend. It's become an annual tradition. The mission is to make it to the top, and to make it faster than the last time we made the climb.  You should try it too!

You start bright and early and you hike for hours!  Pikes Peak rises to a total of 14,100 feet above sea level.  It's hard work, it's 13 miles and it's all up hill.  The trail gains 7,500 feet in elevation.   Here's a shot from early in the hike, near the bottom of Barr Trail.  The trail here is steep with switchbacks ..and it's a real early-morning eye-opener.  You know a this point that this won't be easy!

My friends and I have all been training for this, basically since last year's climb.  It took us 7 hours in '09.  Here was are at the top.  On the left is my friend Jeff, then me, then a buddy named Joe, then 11 News Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe and then my friend James (who lives in Texas).

We know we can do better this time, in fact we want to top the mountain in 6 hours.  Every one of us is in better shape than we were a year ago.  We've all lost between 9 and 39 pounds - except Jeff who didn't need to lose any weight.  ..we know we can do it faster!  We still have to remember to pause briefly to enjoy the amazing views along the way.

If you've never done this, do give it a try, and do train for it first. The last couple of high-altitude, low-oxygen miles really can take it out of you.  You really can't just decide on Friday that you want to hike to the top of Pikes Peak on Saturday....unless you're always in good shape. If that's the case, see you a the summit!  Here's a final picture of me and Brian Bledsoe at the top, tired after a long trip that was worth every grueling step! 

 

I'll blog again on Sunday to let you know if we all made it...and if we all made it in six hours!

We'll talk again soon.

Don Ward

 

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